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Is it time to start buying your Christmas presents?

Is it time to start buying your Christmas presents?

Buying Christmas presents in October, that’s way too early, I hear you shout. But it really isn’t. In fact, starting your Christmas shopping early is a great way to make sure you stay in budget and get some great bargains.

So, if you’re not convinced October is the best time to start, check out our reasons why and helpful tips for bagging a festive bargain.

Why start now?

It’s never to early to get into the Christmas spirit and the earlier you start your Christmas shopping the longer you have to spread the cost.

You also have the chance to hunt for the perfect present at the perfect price.

Most importantly, while everyone else is battling with overcrowded shopping centres and paying for last-minute delivery, you can have your feet up at home and treat yourself to some eggnog and an extra mince pie with all the money you saved.

Make a list

Like Santa himself, the first step in sorting out this years’ presents is to make a list. We’ll leave the decision about who’s been naughty and who’s been nice up to you.

This way you can not only keep tabs on who you have and haven’t bought for, but also accurately budget for each present.

Check it twice

Make sure you haven’t forgotten anyone. It’s so easy to leave someone off the list and then only remember them at the last minute.  Is the office having a secret Santa you’ll need to buy for this year, or are you seeing some distant relative in the run-up to Christmas who you haven’t seen in years?

There’s a very good reason Santa checks his list twice. Don’t get caught out.

Don’t waste your money of presents they don’t want

Money’s is as tight as Santa’s belt in the run-up to Christmas, so what steps can you take to make sure you don’t waste your money on presents people don’t want. According to Amazon, nearly half of people end up regifting what they receive and three in four are disappointed with what they get for Christmas.

One option is to ask them what they want. You might lose the surprise factor, but at least you’ll know they’ll like it.

Alternatively, why not get them a gift certificate so they can spend the money how they want, or perhaps donate some money to charity in their name.

Get a gift receipt

This is something Santa never had to think about, but you should. I’m sure people love the presents you buy them, but every once in a while, it might go wrong.

A gift receipt is a great way of allowing them to swap it for something else, without having to show the price of the gift.

Don’t have a nightmare before Christmas

It seems like the months before Christmas are just one massive sale. But just because something is marked as reduced, doesn’t mean it’s a good deal.

Why not check out some of these price tracking services and see how prices have fluctuated over time. Each of these services show a graph of past prices, and allows you to set up an alert for when they drop below a certain number. They’ll help you avoid being caught out by Black Friday offers that aren’t as good as they’re made out to be.

Idealo compares prices across many online and high street retailers like Boots, Argos, Amazon, John Lewis and eBay. You’re able to set up email alerts for price drops too. We found it best for toys and tech.

CamelCamelCamel is a simple price tracker for Amazon. You can see the price history for products, and get alerts via email for when an item reaches a certain % off, or your desired price.  CamelCamelCamel is best for books or for those with Prime membership.

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